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Espionage and romance partner up in Flycatcher

St. Albert journalist Tony Kryzanowski debuts his first action-adventure novel

The spy-game of listening, learning and eavesdropping requires ingenuity and creates intrigue. These are the pillars of any action-adventure novel including Tony Kryzanowski’s debut novel, Flycatcher. 

A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, the St. Albert reporter has devoted the past 40 years writing and editing newspapers and magazines. Journalists pick up quirky tidbits every time they write a fresh story and file them away for future reference. Flycatcher draws from the writer’s mental catalogue. 

The novel leaps back to the 1980s during Quebec’s inflammatory talk of separation. In this fictional novel, the Canadian Minister of Defence Alphonse Roy has abruptly resigned his position with the federal government to run for the separatist leadership of La belle province.  

Ordinarily, this would not be an issue. However, Roy has stolen the access code to NATO’s wideband global satcom network. He plans to use the code to blackmail the Canadian government into allowing Quebec to separate. Once separation is complete, he wants to install himself as president of a sovereign Quebec. 

Canada has no intention of relinquishing sensitive data or an entire province. Tom Maddox, a spy for the Five Eyes Alliance working under the guise of a freelance correspondent, is pulled in from the Middle East. The real Five Eyes Alliance, an intelligence gathering agency, was developed in 1946 to protect political and military interests. It included Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. 

Unable to force Canada’s hand, Roy attempts to sell the code to the highest bidder – the Brown Mambas. Living on greed and power, the East African cabal is a major global player trafficking in weapons and people. 

Working with the Canadian military and the Five Eyes Alliance, Maddox is sent on a covert mission to infiltrate Roy’s inner circle. The military also enlists actress Crimson Sumner, Maddox’s former lover, to capture additional sensitive data. 

While the 280-page novel published through Friesen Press uses many action-adventure-romance tropes, there are also numerous twists that keep the reader turning pages until its conclusion. 

Kryzanowski deliberately chose the shocking backdrop of Quebec’s early separatist movement. 

“I lived through the FLQ crisis, and it was one of the strongest, most dramatic political issues in Canada. Unfortunately, separation was never resolved, and we may have to face it again,” Kryzanowski said. “It was only a relatively brief period of time, but for Canadians it had a similar impact as the Kennedy assassination.” 

Although the Five Eyes Alliance is a massive global surveillance system, the book’s characters and plot twists are fictional composites of the author’s experiences and people he’s met. 

For instance, during his tenure as editor of the Barrhead Leader, a member of CSIS visited his office. 

“At the time, Alberta was having issues with the white supremacist movement and there was talk of established camps in the area. An article in the Barrhead Leader caught the eyes of CSIS intelligence.” 

And after meeting Krimsen Sumners, associate superintendent of St. Albert Public Schools, Kryzanowski opted to name his heroine Crimson. 

“She knows my wife. The first time I met Krimsen, the name struck me as such beautiful name it deserved play in a novel.” 

Throughout the novel’s twists and turns, the one constant is Tom and Crimson’s connection. 

“It’s about their relationship in a very fluid, wild and constantly changing world and how they manage their relationship. I wanted to make sure it was entertaining and the feedback I’ve received is that the book is hard to put down. There are challenges the couple commit to overcoming and it’s not always easy. But they are so deeply committed right to the end.” 

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Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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